Written by: Kim Stanley Robinson
Reviewed by: Brad Williamson
Kim Stanley Robinson’s newest book is about colonizing the moon. That should be enough information for everyone to want to go read it, but if it’s not, here’s my review:
If there’s one thing Mr. Robinson does with each new book at this point in his career, it’s ensuring that he writes a fresh story while staying true to his values. His themes and motifs have remained remarkably consistent ever since way back to the Three Californias trilogy, but he still finds slightly new plots and protagonists to put spins on his tales. Red Moon is no different.
In fact, in many ways this is one of his more un-Robinson-like novels, up there with Shaman and Rice and Salt, and, like these, it is a pleasure to read.
His descriptions of life on the moon are some of his most visceral since the Mars trilogy, his predictions regarding China and the United States are, less than two years following publication, already coming true, his characters are believable, the ideas fresh, and the plot is engaging.
It reads almost like a Crichton / Stephensonesque technothriller, but in typical Robinson style, it’s just too heavy, too philosophical for that label, and it becomes its own thing, a genre-bending, culture-dividing, important novel.
I won’t pretend to know Mr. Robinson’s inspirations or intentions, but I could feel Cixin Liu’s influence in this book. The Chinese themes, focus, and ideas were very interesting and well done, reminiscent of Three-Body; whether there’s a real connection or influence there, I cannot say, but this aspect of the novel was remarkably well done and illuminating in a cultural way that Robinson hadn’t captured since Rice and Salt.
For some reason Mr. Robinson hasn’t been recognized as much recently as he should be, but he is still writing at the top of his game and, as such, the field.
Great book, recommended.